"at your library" in the north island eagle: holidays in the time of covid: let your library help (yes, that's how long it's been)

Oh dear, I'm way behind on posting the biweekly columns I write for the local free newspaper. I don't imagine wmtc readers need to read these, but I like to preserve them on this blog.

To avoid a barrage, I'll post a few columns each week until I'm caught up.

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Holidays in the Time of Covid – Let Your Library Help

“Give Library” is back! The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) stocking stuffer for you. They’re good for everyone on your list, they look great -- and best of all, they’re free. Yes, I’m referring to a library card, a gift that never goes out of style.

This year’s “Give Library” cards are available at local businesses. In Port Hardy, you can pick up a beautiful “Give Library” card at Book Nook and at Field’s. The Field’s in Port McNeill will also have a “Give Library” display. In other communities, ask at your library branch where you can get one.

A VIRL library card gives you access to millions of books, eBooks, audiobooks, streaming movies, digital music, video games, and magazines and newspapers from around the world. They’re good at all 39 VIRL branches, from Masset to Sooke, Tofino to Bella Coola.

There’s no doubt that the 2020 holiday season is an unusual one. COVID travel restrictions have many people missing family and friends. Maybe you’re preparing Christmas dinner for two instead of 12, or mailing off gifts that you’d rather be giving in person. People prone to feeling sad or lonely around the holidays may be especially vulnerable this year. 

If this describes you, now is a good time to discover more tools that could boost your well-being. Your library has a huge number or books, audiobooks, and articles on self-help, spirituality, and physical and mental health. If you need help finding information, we’re here to help – and anything you share with us will be confidential. 

Your library can help you with your holiday preparations in so many ways. VIRL has hundreds of cookbook titles, covering every type of cooking and baking you can name. Crafting and libraries are a natural fit, whether in magazines, books, or e-resources. Creative Bug and the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center – two amazing e-resources -- are perfect for beginners and experts alike, and crafters of all ages.

If you’re wondering how this works, or you’re wary of trying it on your own, we’re here to help. Even wearing masks and practicing social distancing, library staff will do our best to get you started. 

If you need some escapist fun this holiday season, your library is the place to go. DVDs, streaming movies, videogames – and of course, books – are all there for you, and with your library card, they’re all free. 

To get the most out of your library card and all VIRL has to offer, your best bet is to order in advance. Your favourite library branch is a a wonderful place, but VIRL has so much more to offer. If you’re not in the habit of using “holds” to order materials, let our staff help you. Once you see how it works, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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